• Jane Gonin

A review of the Dior Exhibition

Updated: Mar 7, 2019


A friend and I went to the Dior exhibition at the Victoria and Albert museum in London last week and were not disappointed.

As it was half term week it was a bit crowded to say the least, but as the V&A are so experienced at these events and we had timed tickets the queue moved very quickly. We were soon in the exhibition, face to face with a Dior iconic classic outfit.

A colleague, who had visited just after the opening had not been impressed. Her reaction might have lowered our expectations of the show and seeing the number of people we would share the viewing galleries with I have to say I was feeling like I might have wasted my money.

However, we loved it and found that there were only two occasions where it got so congested that the exhibits were not easily visible, and even then, not for long.

I do not want to give too much away, but seeing the legendary tailored suits, day and evening wear was thrilling. The famous Bar Suit and stunning evening wear still takes the breath away so one can imagine the impact this ‘New Look’ had on style starved women of post war Europe.

The exhibition had many surprises including the work of the other directors who has followed Dior after his early death in 1957.

He had mentored Yves Saint Laurent, so it was natural he took over the from the couturier. The other creative directors were unknown to me, apart from the highly theatrical and amazing John Galliano. Marc Bohan, who followed Saint Laurent was the longest serving director and his work was a wonderful surprise.

In Maria Grazia Chiuri was the first woman to be appointed to head the couture house.

In total there have been eight creative directors and all their work was unique yet putting their own interpretation on some of the original classic shapes and styles, so that the Dior brand was still recognisable.

As my own knowledge has expanded, I could even spot how the more recent designers had been influenced by Dior’s contemporaries.

Charles James, an English designer who made his name in the USA, at the same time as Dior. He could be described as the Alexander McQueen or Vivienne Westwood of the ‘50’s. I hope and wonder how long it might be before there is an exhibition of his work in this country? Not too long please.

Congratulations to the V&A. The Dior exhibition is now totally sold out.


Copyright: Jane Gonin Feb 2019

Cover Photograph; The jacket and hat is from the bar suit designed by Christain Dior in 1947.

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